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November 12, 2010

Meeting The U.S. Ambassador

Rarely does one get a chance to meet a diplomat. We were thankful therefore when we got a call from the U.S. Embassy in Manila, telling us that we are invited to a special meeting the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr, during his visit to Bacolod this morning. I immediately informed my SEAYLP students and told them to prepare a scrapbook of their U.S. trip last April and about their current community project involving the street children at Bacolod City Public Plaza. They were all actually excited to meet the Ambassador, looking forward to share with him what they have been currently doing as their commitment to the SEAYLP.

When he arrived at the American Studies Corner at the University Library, he was greeted with a lot of people, from ordinary students to the Administrators of the University. After his short meeting with the Administrators, we were immediately ushered into the small office where we sat down with him in private. He wanted to know all about our community project.

He was totally down-to-earth and we found ourselves very comfortable in his presence. He asked questions. He was genuinely interested to know about the street children we were working with. The SEAYLP students were also very engaging. They confidently answered his questions and even shared with him the scrap book they made, explaining to him some of the pictures that he was looking at, especially the pictures of the street children at the Bacolod City Public Plaza.

Of course, in the most subtle way, the students also shared with him their difficulty when it comes to funding. They told him that they would spend from out of their pockets to buy snacks and other materials for their weekly outreach with the street children. They told him how they would contribute 20 pesos each every week as their funds for their weekly activity. The Ambassador even said, "and you would get the money from your parents, of course." The students laughed in agreement.

Before he left, he gave out some gold coins from the Embassy at the same time sharing to the group how he was grateful for the work that we were doing. It is difficult, he said, and very challenging. But he was very appreciative of the work.

We had our pictures taken with him before he left for the Provincial Capitol where he was expected to induct a group of Peace Corps Volunteers.

I am hopeful that the meeting with the Ambassador would encourage further the Team to continue with their outreach program no matter how challenging and difficult. I do hope that they would find some ounce of inspiration to proceed with their mission and vision.

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1 violent reactions. React Here.:

Anonymous said...

mayo gid bien! very proud gid.

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